Mrs. Shuster was born in the former Soviet Republic of Ukraine. She was born into a family deeply rooted to the importance of preserving Judaism despite the anti-semitic environment. Mrs. Shuster's family moved to New York City in 1991, where she attended Sinai Academy at Prospect Park Yeshiva to learn and embrace the richness of Jewish culture and religion. She earned her BS in Psychology and an MA in Organizational Development from Brooklyn College.
Mrs. Shuster joined Academies at GBDS in September 2018 and in her role she provides organizational leadership across all administrative and operational functions of the school. Mrs. Shuster has over fifteen years of experience working in school administration and human resources. As a former HR Director, she has extensive experience in recruitment, employee relations and retention, culture definition and employee engagement. Prior to joining Academies at GBDS, she worked as a founding Director of Operations at Hebrew Public Charter School in Brooklyn NY, as well as at Staten Island Hebrew Academy as Director of Staff and Operations, she also worked for Lifespire as a Recruitment Director. From her extensive experience, she also brings to Academies at GBDS her expertise in event planning and fundraising, as well as managing social media, communications, and promoting community engagement. She has a passion for superior Jewish education and believes that educating the whole child is the key to preparing children to become leaders in the Jewish and global community.
Together with her husband Alex, they are raising four children, three of whom are proud students at Academies at GBDS.
General Studies Principal
Mrs. Barbach has earned a Master's in Education and Teacher Leadership from Brandeis University in May 2018. Mrs. Barbach also holds a Bachelor's degree in Anthropology from Boston University and a Master's degree in Anthropology from Kent State University. She previously taught science at Hawthorne High School and West Milford High School. Before joining GBDS in 2014, she was a professor in the Department of Biology and Chemistry at the County College of Morris, where she was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation. She has 15 years of experience in school leadership as well as teaching at the elementary school, high school, and community college levels.
Mrs. Barbach previously held a dual teacher-leader role at Academies at GBDS. She taught middle school science, enriching the science curriculum from pre-k through middle school with robotics, 3-D design and printing, coding and programming. She co-led with Sarit Ginzburg a school improvement initiative focusing on establishing a collaborative school culture and integrating the Judaic and General Studies curricula and practices throughout the whole school. Mrs. Barbach's teaching methods are student-centered, and she views her role in the classroom as a facilitator of learning. She uses inquiry-based instruction and is trained in Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL). Mrs. Barbach is an active member of the POGIL Project, a community of educators seeking to transform education in the United States (http://www.pogil.org). Her projects include writing inquiry-based science activities for Middle School students and developing strategies to encourage students to learn 21st century skills such as teamwork, oral and written communication, problem solving, and information processing. She encourages students to think critically and to take an active role in the learning process.
Jewish Studies Principal
Mrs. Ginzburg was born in Israel, where she served in the IDF prior to relocating to the United States. She is a highly qualified and experienced school leader and educator with over 18 years of teaching elementary and middle school students at Academies @ GBDS. She completed a two-year Legacy Heritage Teacher Leadership Fellowship which culminated in a Master's in Education and Teacher Leadership from Brandeis University. She completed B'Yachad Leadership program through the JFNNJ. Mrs. Ginzburg holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
In her prior role with the school, Mrs. Ginzburg held a dual role of teacher-coordinator, teaching 5th-8th grade Hebrew language curriculum. She co-led a school change initiative focusing on building a culture of collaboration among the teachers that emphasizes the integration of General and Judaic Studies.
Mrs. Ginzburg’s leadership role includes coordinating all Judaic studies and Hebrew curriculum from Nursery 2 through 8th Grade, supervising the Judaic Studies staff, facilitating meetings with teachers, and organizing events related to Judaic studies. She maintains connection and partnership with elementary and middle schools in Israel. She is also responsible for organizing and leading our life-changing eighth grade trip to Israel. She views herself as a Shlicha and is dedicated to instilling the love of Israel and Judaism in her students and their families.
Early Childhood Director
Mrs. Scher joined Academies at GBDS as an Early Childhood Director in 2004 after a successful career in various day schools including Yavneh Academy in Paramus, RPRY in Edison, Bayshore Hebrew Academy in Aberdeen, NJ and Solomon Schechter in Marlboro, NJ. Her prior experience includes working as a teacher, mentor, supervisor and curriculum coordinator for Nursery through grade 2. She is an experienced, warm and visionary leader, who supports our youngest children and their families as they begin their education at GBDS.
Mrs. Scher has a dual degree in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education, with a concentration in literacy. She attended Tel Aviv University and graduated from William Paterson University. Mrs. Scher participated in Hebrew University's summer program for Early Childhood Education Curriculum Development for Jewish Educators in the Diaspora. Mrs. Scher is a passionate advocate for Jewish Early Childhood Education and the positive impact it plays in developing a lifelong love of Judaism and self-esteem.
As Early Childhood Director, she works in close partnership with the entire Early Childhood staff to create vibrant and engaging educational opportunities for our children. Mrs. Scher has an open door policy where parents are welcomed as partners in their child’s early education. She forms connections to the Early Childhood families and helps to integrate them into the school community.
Rabbi Micah Liben
Rabbi in Residence
Rabbi Liben has inspired learners of all ages, in both formal classrooms and informal educational settings, for over 15 years. As a Schechter Residency in Educational Leadership fellow, Rabbi Liben served for six years at Kellman Brown Academy in Southern New Jersey, first as Rabbi in Residence and subsequently as Director of Jewish Life and Learning. While in South Jersey, Rabbi Liben completed the Jewish Day School Instructional Leadership Institute; taught courses at Goodblatt Academy, the Rabbinical Assembly's Introduction to Judaism program; and served as a volunteer chaplain at New Jersey State Prison. Most recently, as a Jewish Life Coordinator at Schechter in Bergen County, Rabbi Liben received teaching certification from the International Baccalaureate Organization, and integrated IB with the school's Talmud curriculum.
Originally from Massachusetts, Rabbi Liben is a lifelong camper and a staff member at Camp Ramah in New England, where he has worked in every area from teaching texts to teaching tennis (and even headed the Israeli dance program). He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (B.A.), the Davidson School of Jewish Education (M.A.) and the Jewish Theological Seminary (rabbinic ordination).
Rabbi Liben lives in Teaneck with his wife, Deborah, and their children, Dov, Lev and Meirav. Lev and Meirav are current students of Academies at GBDS.